Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

BOARDS OF EDUCATION ; Scott Depot Paddleboarding Pro Teaches Students about `Balanced' Lives

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

BOARDS OF EDUCATION ; Scott Depot Paddleboarding Pro Teaches Students about `Balanced' Lives

Article excerpt

cthomas@cnpapers.com 304-348-1232

In days of yesteryear, students dreaded the paddle, but in today's more enlightened times, several of them took the paddle eagerly -- on the water recently. On Sept. 28, Mountaineer Montessori Middle School students traveled to Daniel Boone Park in Charleston for their third Stand-Up Paddleboarding (or SUP, for short) lesson on the Kanawha River near the state Capitol. The previous two, hour-long lessons took place on the Coal River, as part of a four-week series.

Evan Young of Putnam County-based Appalachian Boarding Company led the afternoon paddleboarding lessons, assisted by MMMS teacher Kate Laishley. The paddleboarding lessons are designed to align with the experiential, nature-based focus of the Montessori approach to adolescent education, giving students hands-on learning and building character and confidence in an outdoor environment, as well.

Young and his wife, Brooke, founded and operate Appalachian Boarding Company, which launched into full-time business in Scott Depot in June. Their mission statement includes the goals of "prompting all West Virginians to regain balance in their lives through exploring all the wild and wonderful waterways that West Virginia has to offer. Our state needs new outlooks and opportunities both for our future and for quality of life amidst current challenging conditions in our communities. That's why we're stepping out and standing up to address the needs of our local residents by providing the most exhilarating outdoor activities you'll find anywhere throughout our resilient state and region.

"The first lesson we taught was safety, Young said as he unloaded the paddleboards and paddles for the seven students who would be participating last week. "And acquiring the skills it takes to paddleboard. Part of the training is to build an awareness of the unexpected . …

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